THE DEEP ONES: "Stone Cold Fever" by Joseph S. Pulver Sr.

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THE DEEP ONES: "Stone Cold Fever" by Joseph S. Pulver Sr.

2housefulofpaper
des. 15, 2020, 5:16pm

Always feel a bit guilty that it's mostly the living authors I read online.

3elenchus
Editat: des. 27, 2020, 6:37pm

>2 housefulofpaper:

Agree, and I counter that feeling with the conviction that it's most important the story is read. There have been a number of DEEP ONES selections which led to me reading other stories, sometimes online and sometimes via interlibrary loan. And less frequently, I've purchased a book based on reading online here.

4AndreasJ
des. 20, 2020, 4:57am

>2 housefulofpaper:

Pulver died in April, so your conscience is clear this time.

Didn't get around to re-reading this until today, but then I don't seem to be the only Deep One slacking :p

As usual, I find Pulver's style a little trying. As I think I've remarked before, ten years ago or so I'd been annoyed by the metafictional element, but now it works fine as far as I'm concerned.

It's a bit hard to imagine HPL as the author of a bible on sex magic ...

5paradoxosalpha
Editat: des. 20, 2020, 3:08pm

Pat Pulling meets Rambo. I understand the use of an unreliable and ignorant narrator, but man. Giving him the final word to misrepresent and slander a cultural configuration to which the author belongs is a bit out there.

I've liked Pulver's jauniste stuff, but if this was all I'd read of his, I'd be disinclined to give him another chance.

6housefulofpaper
des. 27, 2020, 5:45pm

I've tried to find something good to say about this one but I really didn't care for it.

The whole hard-boiled thing may be accurately reflecting an aspect of the genre I've happily not been exposed to (although I get the impression from some online reading that Joseph Pulver wrote so much of it that it's unlikely this one story was a rare attempt at pastiche). I suppose it reads somewhat like Frank Miler's Sin City - although both the comic books and the movies are as stylised as ballet, and makes it easier to swallow both the morals and psychology of the world presented, and the unlikelihood of the whole thing.

And then, not just maligning Lovecraft (and Lovecraftians and gamers) but doing it in such a perfunctory way - you'd think that Pulver would open up his protagonist's world to whole new levels of horror; or, if his intention was to focus on the emotional suffering of his characters (1) don't make them such clichés (honestly, it's like a 14-year old wrote this, although at 14 I would have been self-critical enough to throw it away); (2) make it clear that the Mythos is all made up and the boy's death was for nothing. Don't put in an ambiguous line "And this wacko-fuck had taken it to heart and was planning to free them to ravage and ruin. Not in My Town, motherfucker!" so, I suppose, he could metaphorically pose at the end of the story with his gun like John Wayne or something.

The image of the boy's body laid on an "old door on two sawhorses' was the only image that really worked for me as something vivid and striking. I honestly involuntarily found myself reading this in my head with the voice of Garth Marenghi.

7elenchus
des. 27, 2020, 6:39pm

Nothing to add, agree with all that was posted above. Too bad.

8RandyStafford
gen. 2, 3:57pm

Well, I also have not been a fan of most of the Pulver I've read.

Apart from the perfunctory nature mentioned by >6 housefulofpaper:, I thought the whole thing full of cliches which I'm not fond of. No less than five raping Nazis. Unless the narrator is speaking metaphorically, Nazis have been pretty short on the ground in America since 1941. There's a maladjusted Vietnam War veteran and the oh-so 1980s and 1990s motif of the missing and abused child.